Community

Operation Surf - Changing Lives One Wave at a Time

Posted by

Veterans Day is this Sunday, and since we’re fortunate to have a fair number of veterans as customers, it’s fitting that we honor those who have served - and are serving - in our military.

In 1938, Congress declared November 11 of each year a legal holiday to “honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” The date was picked because World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, but an “armistice” (temporary end to hostilities) went into effect on November 11, 1918. That’s why we celebrate on November 11, and that’s why the holiday was originally called Armistice Day. The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 and became a way to pay respect to American veterans of all wars.

Operation Surf

Speaking of Veterans Day, it’s a good time to mention our friends at Operation Surf. OS is a globally recognized surf program designed to change the lives of wounded war heroes – one wave at a time. Fellow Central Coast local surfer Van Curaza and Rodney Roller founded the organization in 2009. Van started surfing the same way I did, and at the same place; we both rented canvas surf mats from the little rental concession under the Avila Beach pier. Van took surfing a lot further than I did…he was a pro in the mid through late ‘80s, and has definitely ridden his share of big waves. Check him out charging Mouse Rock during a big winter swell…

                                  

(Photo Credit: Mike Jones)

The mission of Operation Surf is to build veterans’ self-esteem and self-efficacy through surfing, ocean education and sharing the surf lifestyle. The program’s unique curriculum helps our military heroes gain mentorship, fond memories and lifetime friendships. Van summed it up when he told me, “our goal is to help our wounded military heroes leave Operation Surf thinking that they are in control of their world, not the world in control of them. The focus is on what you can do, not what you can’t.” 

Now 55, Van battled addiction in his younger years. He considers himself very fortunate to have gotten help when he needed it most, and Operation Surf has been a way for him to give back. “This world needs more empathy,” Van said. “I said ‘yes’ when someone asked me for help.” Based on honor, integrity and transparency, Operation Surf attracts veterans from all over the country to help them heal from the pain and trauma of war. Week-long sessions are held each year in Santa Cruz, Huntington Beach and here on the Central Coast of California. And for the past three years, Corwall, England has played host to a week of Operation Surf!

I invite you to take a couple of minutes to watch this short and very touching video… it shows how Van is using surfing to help so many brave men and women - https://youtu.be/l8W1yvrPA-U. For more info, the Operation Surf website is www.amazingsurfadventures.org.

In honor our veterans, Last Wave is introducing the new “Weber USA” tee shirt for a limited time only! Last Wave will donate two dollars for every Weber USA tee sold to Operation Surf, so you will be helping a very worthwhile cause with your purchase! Check it out!

We live in very challenging and divisive times, so enjoy your Veterans Day holiday, take a moment to honor those who have served our country, and live the surf lifestyle!

Aloha,
Ted

        

The Woodie Station Wagon

The term “station wagon” was coined right around the turn of the 20th century. Train stations were usually located on the outskirts of town, but hotels and restaurants were in downtown areas. So the “wagons” used to carry travelers from the “station” literally became known as “station wagons.” They were first referred as “depot hacks” because train stations were originally [...]

Read More »

Cunningham Surfboards - A Surfing Pioneer's Story

The Central California coastal town of Santa Maria has always been known for cattle ranching, farming, and barbeque tri-tip. In the 1960s, it was typical small town where teenagers danced to rock ‘n roll music and cruised Broadway on Friday and Saturday nights. But the sleepy community was transformed by the influx of aerospace engineers and their families who [...]

Read More »

The Save The Waves Coalition

Last Wave Originals has become great friends with the Save The Waves Coalition! Based in Santa Cruz, California, the Coalition’s mission is to protect and preserve worldwide coastal ecosystems with a focus on the surf zone. Save The Waves (STW) is the only nonprofit dedicated exclusively to conservation of surfing coastlines on an international scale. Its vision is a world [...]

Read More »

Barreling At You...The Artificial Wave

Last month, an article appeared in our local Central Coast newspaper, prompting me to write a little something about interesting developments in artificial wave technology. The article reported that this past September 19, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater hosted group of about 300 people from around the world to “witness the future of surfing in the middle of California’s [...]

Read More »

The Psychedelic Legacy of Rick Griffin

As a freshman in high school, the late Rick Griffin was charging 50 cents to draw surf characters on t-shirts. Now, some 60 years later, Last Wave is stoked to offer a t-shirt featuring Griffin’s famous Murph the Surf!Rick Griffin influenced both modern surf art and the revolutionary music scene of the ‘60s. After meeting Surfer Magazine founder John [...]

Read More »

The Origins of "Hotdogging"

Americans celebrate the 4th of July to commemorate U.S. independence from British rule in 1776. But why is it known for fireworks, barbeques and hot dogs?Some say it started with a letter written by John Adams to his wife on July 2, 1776…“The day will be most memorable in the history of America.I am apt to believe that it will [...]

Read More »

Tribute to Two Legends of Surf

During the past two weeks, the surfing world has lost two of its most influential personalities. Surfer, artist, filmmaker and publisher John Severson died on May 26, 20178 at the age of 83. Surfer and surf products innovator Jack O’Neill passed away at age 94 on June 2.Both made incredible contributions to our lifestyle.John SeversonJohn Severson was born [...]

Read More »

The Surf T-Shirt

A Fashion Statement Since 1961 The origin of the surf t-shirt can be traced back to Europe in the early 20th century. At about the time surfing was enjoying its first renaissance in Hawaii, the U.S. was fighting in World War I. Surfing was popular with Hawaiian natives until missionaries showed up in the mid-19th century. They disapproved [...]

Read More »

×
×